Urban Village as a Tool for Resilient Planning in Palestine

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The ideal objective of planning is the achievement of social justice and welfare. This research uses political geography in order to develop a planning approach in the face of dominant power in order to achieve justice. Spaces and places are the arena of planning practices. At the same time they are seen as an arena to display power relations. Specifically, “city” is a good example that represents this feature of “place” and “colonial power” is a good example of using cities as a field for its exercise. Cities historically have been the medium where the sovereign power of colonialism or warfare power is exercised by using the physical and humanistic characteristics of cities to implement systems of “urbicide,” “bio-politics” and the use of bare life to impose control. This piece uses literature on political geography to analyze and understand existing political geographic conditions in the Palestinian Territories to develop a resilient Palestinian planning approach. It analyzes the ways in which the Israeli occupational power uses Palestinian cities to achieve control. Since resistance is in a dyad relation with domination, there is no separation between them. And since space is the medium of domination and resistance, then resistance can be sustained by urban planning practices at the physical (spatial) development level. In this sense, urban planning practice as a tool to facilitate resistance can take the opposite form of the spatial practice of domination. While, domination or oppression exercises through urban life, resistance can be facilitated by planning practice through its concentration on “ruralism.” This research is exploratory. It highlights the spatiality of the occupational power in the PT, at the same time examines existing social, spatial and geographical context that help to use space for resilient planning. It ends by recommending the concept of the “urban village,” a Palestinian urban village, for the accomplishment of Palestinian resilient planning.